Cascade Loop gets federal Scenic Byways designation

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Highway 20 through Rainy Pass.

WENATCHEE — One of central Washington’s most scenic road trips now has national recognition.

The Cascade Loop was recognized Tuesday as a National Scenic Byway by the Federal Highway Administration. The 440-mile travel route goes from Puget Sound to the Methow Valley and includes the Upper Wenatchee Valley, the Methow Valley Highway and Stevens Pass.

The FHA ceased designating byways and providing funding under the program in 2012. Last year, the agency announced it would resume the practice in 2021.

The Cascade Loop Association had already been working for years to get the federal designation, which recognizes U.S. roads based on their archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities. The route is one of just 49 to win the designation this year, and the only one in Washington.